Effect of disinfection processes and anthropogenic pollutants on comparative formation of trihalomethanes and N-nitrosodimethylamine

  • N. H. Orak
  • T. Ozsenturk
  • E. Topuz
  • E. Aydin
  • M. Gurel
  • E. A. Genceli
  • E. Pehlivanoglu-Mantas
Original Paper


Chloramination and chlorination contribute to the formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine and trihalomethanes, respectively, both of which are defined as disinfection by-products. To be able to select the most appropriate water treatment scheme, it is important to comparatively evaluate the formation of both of these disinfection by-products during the application of different disinfection methods. In this study, chlorination, chloramination and stepwise chloramination methods have been applied to surface water samples that have been spiked with known N-nitrosodimethylamine precursors. Experimental results showed that ranitidine can be an effective N-nitrosodimethylamine precursor in distilled water, when chloraminated with high concentrations (140 mg/L) for a long time (10 days), resulting in approximately 450 ng/L of N-nitrosodimethylamine. However, neither dimethylamine nor ranitidine leads to significant trihalomethanes or N-nitrosodimethylamine formation in lake water when chloramination is conducted with low concentration (2 mg/L) for 2 h. These results suggest that N-nitrosodimethylamine concentration measured in the effluent of the drinking water treatment plant may underestimate the N-nitrosodimethylamine concentration that will reach the consumers since chloramination reactions will continue in the distribution system. On the other hand, when only N-nitrosodimethylamine formation potential is used, it will overestimate the N-nitrosodimethylamine that might form in the distribution system due to high disinfectant concentration, high contact time and adjusted pH values used in the N-nitrosodimethylamine formation potential test.


Chlorination Chloramination Dimethylamine Disinfection by-products Ranitidine Water quality 



This work was funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK, Project # 108Y311) and ITU Research Fund Project # 34981.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringDuzce UniversityDuzceTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringIstanbul Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.AGAT LaboratoriesSt. LaurentCanada

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